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Old 12-21-2015, 08:41 AM   #1
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Default A little rant

Hi guys. I just suddenly want to rant a little here.

I have been involved with LC for a few years - I have a love-hate relationship with them. I love many of the brothers and sisters there, however their spiritual pride totally puts me off. Like many have said - while they mock others for them being "too busy serving the Lord" without knowing what He wants, they themselves actually place their own service/ministry higher than Christ Himself. They put their so-called vision higher than God Himself. They mock at other believers and it hurts me - because when they hurts other members who don't meet with them, they are also hurting Christ Himself(take the example of "Saul Saul why do you persecute me"). I actually broke down many times of this.

What have led me to rant here is again at this time of Christmas, I see many of them attacking people who celebrate this holiday. Too many times. It annoys me. I know many who do and not do out of sincere hearts. But they do it out of love and respect for one another. However some words and attitudes used by the LC-ers are full of pride and ego which I cannot stand anymore. If I could I would love to scream out loud. For me they have left their first love- they had good intentions. They did help many to revive their love for the Lord. But eventually they are drifted away by placing their ministry and view higher than Christ and the universal Body of His.
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Old 12-21-2015, 11:05 AM   #2
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Hi guys. I just suddenly want to rant a little here.

What have led me to rant here is again at this time of Christmas, I see many of them attacking people who celebrate this holiday. Too many times. It annoys me.
I bought into this hypocrisy for decades until the day I finally realized that the only holidays we in the LC could safely celebrate were Thanksgiving and Chinese New Year.
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Old 12-21-2015, 11:20 AM   #3
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I bought into this hypocrisy for decades until the day I finally realized that the only holidays we in the LC could safely celebrate were Thanksgiving and Chinese New Year.
The LC would claim that there is no "Christ in Christmas". The secular crowd is now screaming about being offended by too much "Christ in Christmas". I find it a bit ironic.

When all is said and done, the LC has sought to put itself above everyone else by presuming to be something better. Never has there been an honest consideration of who they really are.

The mocking of other Christians, holidays, etc is really disgusting. This is especially so because they claim to love all Christians and they will even lead new members especially to believe that the LC is more "inclusive" than it actually is.

I once heard an elder sharing and he proceeded to attack Greg Laurie, Rick Warren and Billy Graham all at once, saying how they preach the "low gospel".
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Old 12-21-2015, 12:33 PM   #4
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Hi guys. I just suddenly want to rant a little here.

I have been involved with LC for a few years - I have a love-hate relationship with them. I love many of the brothers and sisters there, however their spiritual pride totally puts me off. Like many have said - while they mock others for them being "too busy serving the Lord" without knowing what He wants, they themselves actually place their own service/ministry higher than Christ Himself. They put their so-called vision higher than God Himself. They mock at other believers and it hurts me - because when they hurts other members who don't meet with them, they are also hurting Christ Himself(take the example of "Saul Saul why do you persecute me"). I actually broke down many times of this.

What have led me to rant here is again at this time of Christmas, I see many of them attacking people who celebrate this holiday. Too many times. It annoys me. I know many who do and not do out of sincere hearts. But they do it out of love and respect for one another. However some words and attitudes used by the LC-ers are full of pride and ego which I cannot stand anymore. If I could I would love to scream out loud. For me they have left their first love- they had good intentions. They did help many to revive their love for the Lord. But eventually they are drifted away by placing their ministry and view higher than Christ and the universal Body of His.
I agree with much of what you have said. I placed into bold what was also my experience.
On the matter of celebrating or not celebrating Christmas or other matters, those that do the criticizing are speaking ONLY for themselves. Raised in the local churches and meeting as an adult I know those criticisms are only for the minority. I had been in many lc homes where there may not be a Christmas lights or a Christmas tree, the children did receive gifts.
On the subject of other matters, a certain elder may condemn other churches that acknowledge Super Bowl Sunday. All the while come the Super Bowl game households within the same locality host a Super Bowl party.
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Old 12-21-2015, 12:53 PM   #5
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I once heard an elder sharing and he proceeded to attack Greg Laurie, Rick Warren and Billy Graham all at once, saying how they preach the "low gospel".
I know some will complain, but when we had those gospel meetings and declared that all you had to do was say "Oh Lord Jesus" and you were saved — there's as low a gospel as there is. Not really any need to ask for forgiveness. No need to recognize your guilt or set out to change.

And the number who never were seen again after those meetings was staggering.

And in one case, we had two or three that came in like that, then a few months later, while everyone was in Anaheim for a training, they robbed all the saints houses and disappeared.

Yeah. All they needed was "Oh Lord Jesus." Three words that were actually no more than three words.
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Old 12-21-2015, 01:39 PM   #6
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On the matter of celebrating or not celebrating Christmas or other matters, those that do the criticizing are speaking ONLY for themselves. Raised in the local churches and meeting as an adult I know those criticisms are only for the minority. I had been in many lc homes where there may not be a Christmas lights or a Christmas tree, the children did receive gifts.

On the subject of other matters, a certain elder may condemn other churches that acknowledge Super Bowl Sunday. All the while come the Super Bowl game households within the same locality host a Super Bowl party.
I like the lighted displays, especially those neighbors who take it seriously, and add new stuff every year. I wish the displays would stay on until the end of winter cause here in the gloomy midwest "dark ages" we need all the cheer we can get.

Titus Chu used to schedule the GLA elders and deacons service conference every year on Super Bowl weekend.
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Old 12-21-2015, 06:00 PM   #7
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I like the lighted displays, especially those neighbors who take it seriously, and add new stuff every year. I wish the displays would stay on until the end of winter cause here in the gloomy midwest "dark ages" we need all the cheer we can get.

Titus Chu used to schedule the GLA elders and deacons service conference every year on Super Bowl weekend.
I remember around 1984 that in the denomination we were in the dear pastor would have the Super Bowl taped on VCR while we were in the Sunday evening service so that after the service all the brothers could watch the game.
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Old 12-21-2015, 06:12 PM   #8
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"they themselves actually place their own service/ministry higher than Christ Himself. They put their so-called vision higher than God Himself."
Accurate assessment. I think they have gone beyond turning point. When they first 'cow-down' bowed down to the MOTA, there was still a chance for repentance for those who heed the call to destroy the golden calf. The call was from the holy spirit.
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Old 12-21-2015, 10:18 PM   #9
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Haha I always found this interesting.

attracting yp with worldly superbowl parties, I think the elders tolerated it and figured better under their watchbthan elsewhere.

I never saw Chinese new year celebrated...but the locality I grew up in had 1.5 Chinese families. It was predominantly white in my youth with a rising Latino percentage over time.
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Old 12-25-2015, 10:06 AM   #10
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I never saw Chinese new year celebrated...but the locality I grew up in had 1.5 Chinese families. It was predominantly white in my youth with a rising Latino percentage over time.
Same with in the Southern California localities I grew up in 1976-1986. I wonder though especially in Orange County if the decrease in LC Caucasian households was a direct result of the late 80's turmoil.
Whenever I do go back to visit the locality my parents meet with, there had been a significant increase with Latino households.
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Old 12-25-2015, 11:00 AM   #11
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I once heard an elder sharing and he proceeded to attack Greg Laurie, Rick Warren and Billy Graham all at once, saying how they preach the "low gospel".
That's normal. It's not uncommon in a LC prophesying meeting to put down others (generally or specifically) in order to present the illusion the LC is so much better with more to offer than any other church or ministry.
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Old 12-25-2015, 05:35 PM   #12
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That's normal. It's not uncommon in a LC prophesying meeting to put down others (generally or specifically) in order to present the illusion the LC is so much better with more to offer than any other church or ministry.
I remember participating in the criticism of fallen Christianity. I did it because I genuinely thought that the recovery had figured out how to have church meetings and love the Lord in the best way. My attitude was like "how can people be so blind not to take the way of the recovery". It was group think that made me feel that I was part of a group that "had seen the light" and had the veils removed.
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Old 12-28-2015, 11:39 AM   #13
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I remember participating in the criticism of fallen Christianity.
From the localities I have met with, I see shared responsibility. Those that speak it, those than remain silent, and the elders for sanctioning such speaking. The last locality I met with I brought it to the elder's attention. he didn't have any problem with "criticism of fallen Christianity".
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Old 02-04-2016, 08:12 PM   #14
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From the localities I have met with, I see shared responsibility. Those that speak it, those than remain silent, and the elders for sanctioning such speaking. The last locality I met with I brought it to the elder's attention. he didn't have any problem with "criticism of fallen Christianity".
When the "trashing" of fellow Christians comes again and again, week after week from "the Ministry" (there's some in every HWFMR) and LC leaders (there's some in spoken messages every week at the FTTA and at conferences). And leaders at all levels won't consistently refute it, the saints don't stand a chance. I tried for ten years in my local church to get this addressed, and never got very far, other than an admission that it was happening and it shouldn't. At some point my wife and I realized we were being Don Quixotes in a losing battle. But, the Lord showed me that the recovery was collapsing, and I needed to get out to work in the ambulance station that serves the injured people, with myself as the first patient.
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Old 02-05-2016, 12:30 PM   #15
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When the "trashing" of fellow Christians comes again and again, week after week from "the Ministry" (there's some in every HWFMR) and LC leaders (there's some in spoken messages every week at the FTTA and at conferences). And leaders at all levels won't consistently refute it, the saints don't stand a chance. I tried for ten years in my local church to get this addressed, and never got very far, other than an admission that it was happening and it shouldn't. At some point my wife and I realized we were being Don Quixotes in a losing battle. But, the Lord showed me that the recovery was collapsing, and I needed to get out to work in the ambulance station that serves the injured people, with myself as the first patient.
Hi JJ, just wondering what caused you to realize the recovery was collapsing?
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Old 02-05-2016, 05:21 PM   #16
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When the "trashing" of fellow Christians comes again and again, week after week from "the Ministry" (there's some in every HWFMR) and LC leaders (there's some in spoken messages every week at the FTTA and at conferences). And leaders at all levels won't consistently refute it, the saints don't stand a chance. I tried for ten years in my local church to get this addressed, and never got very far, other than an admission that it was happening and it shouldn't.
Where I live, I didn't try nearly as long as you did but I did bring it up to the #1 elder. He didn't see it as a problem. I figured if that's how he feels, it's best not to stay.
For ones currently meeting in the local churches who grieve over the "trashing" of fellow Christians, but don't want to meet anywhere else, my recommendation is just stay for the Table meeting and leave before the prophesying meeting begins.
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Old 02-07-2016, 08:03 PM   #17
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Hi JJ, just wondering what caused you to realize the recovery was collapsing?
A dream. Yes, I know that sounds strange. But the rest of the dream correlated with my Christian life experience plus what I was seeing in the recovery at the time, and also helped me take the step in faith to leave. I'm glad I did.
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Old 02-08-2016, 05:34 PM   #18
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A dream. Yes, I know that sounds strange. But the rest of the dream correlated with my Christian life experience plus what I was seeing in the recovery at the time, and also helped me take the step in faith to leave. I'm glad I did.
What did you see in the recovery? It's ok if you can't answer, I won't ask again.
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Old 02-10-2016, 06:40 AM   #19
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What did you see in the recovery? It's ok if you can't answer, I won't ask again.
1) a strange and overblown focus on recruiting young people in and getting them to go to conferences and training in Anaheim versus preaching the gospel to all, feeding, shepherding, and discipling the saved with the Word and Spirit of God in love.

2) An overly large, high, and unstable institutional structure housing struggling people on a high place that is shaking and collapsing.
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Old 02-10-2016, 01:59 PM   #20
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1) a strange and overblown focus on recruiting young people in and getting them to go to conferences and training in Anaheim versus preaching the gospel to all, feeding, shepherding, and discipling the saved with the Word and Spirit of God in love.

2) An overly large, high, and unstable institutional structure housing struggling people on a high place that is shaking and collapsing.
Probably the only reason that the LC didn't collapse long ago is because members live in morbid fear that they will either be judged for leaving, or that they will cease to be part of "God's remnant". I think the signs that the LC is dying are ever so clear. The fact that they are so hyper-focused on college students and that age group shows that they are unable to properly meet the needs of other age groups, and thus everyone else becomes neglected and isolated.

I recently heard that in Southern California, there are supposedly a total of 9000 LC members and 6000 actively meeting on Lord's Day. A 66% attendance rate is nothing to brag about. Certain mega-churches located in Southern California each have a weekly attendance surpassing 10,000 members. That's not to say that a church needs that many members, but when a single congregation can have more members than all LC's in the area, that says a lot. LC leaders don't seem to understand the problem at hand.

Recently, I have been seeing Facebook posts about LSM sending FTTA trainees to Germany to contact Syrian refugees. LCers are told that this is the Lord's latest 'move' (and they also claim that the Lord is ready to 'recover' Stuttgart from what happened 30 years ago). I laugh when I read this kind of stuff because it is clear how ridiculous it all is. If the Lord were really doing something through their work, they would be able to tell of more than these detailed LC-style stories involving how they met a person or two who is 'open' to the ministry. People are not flocking to the LC in the masses like they expect.

The reason that I mention this is because much of the propaganda being used to 'prove' that something significant is happening in the LC turns out to be just a mirage. It is hard to see that is the case from in the LC, but the view is clear for everyone else.
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Old 02-11-2016, 07:18 AM   #21
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Recently, I have been seeing Facebook posts about LSM sending FTTA trainees to Germany to contact Syrian refugees. LCers are told that this is the Lord's latest 'move' (and they also claim that the Lord is ready to 'recover' Stuttgart from what happened 30 years ago). I laugh when I read this kind of stuff because it is clear how ridiculous it all is. If the Lord were really doing something through their work, they would be able to tell of more than these detailed LC-style stories involving how they met a person or two who is 'open' to the ministry. People are not flocking to the LC in the masses like they expect.
The LSM church that I am at recently announced a goal to increase the number of saints to [X] by Year [Y]. The goal was ambitious.

At the Lord's table meeting, it was acknowledged by a leading brother that "humanly speaking" it would be difficult, but that "with God all things are possible". (Later, there was also the usual mantra on how the goal could be attained if everyone functions and commits to shepherding for [z] number of people a year.)

I remembered thinking to myself that while the goal was ambitious, I could see it realised if there was a big game-changer such as my country agreeing to accept large numbers of Syrian refugees. The church could target these refugees. I would think that the refugees would be open to meeting new people. After all, if you are a refugee and are new in a country, you would be eager to meet the local communities. A free meal (such as a love feast) would help to bring them in too, at least for the short term.

Anyway, these thoughts are academic because my country isn't committing to accepting refugees, and knowing the LSM, it is not in their modus operandi to lobby the government to accept refugees; the LSM-ers don't like to engage in active citizenship.
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Old 02-11-2016, 11:02 AM   #22
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The LSM church that I am at recently announced a goal to increase the number of saints to [X] by Year [Y]. The goal was ambitious.
I have heard a lot of similar declarations in the LC. Most often it was the kind of talk where they would say how an increase is needed and if everyone just brought in one person within a year there would be a 100% increase. It all sounded so simple, and then when everything failed, there was no easy explanation but to blame members. Speaking for myself, that was always a great point of frustration. I didn't like being blamed, and I didn't like being run around in circles. If something clearly isn't working, then quite trying to re-implement it. Go back to the drawing board and start fresh.

When I think back to all the LC gospel activities that I participated in, I can't ever remember anything that ended with any measurable results. When BFA first started, we used to go around to houses and put flyers on doors. That eventually stopped as BFA became more focused on doing tables, which also didn't ever seem to amount to anything. Now it looks like they have resorted to advertising on Facebook. Go figure.

The point that I'm getting to is this: most Americans that LCers come in contact with are onto the fact that LCers are attempting to proselytize. People don't have to know anything about the LC to get the hint. Someone who is a Christian and is handed an unknown version of the Bible that claims to be the consummation of 2000 years of understand is going to probably have a few questions. LCers don't like people questioning them. They don't like people that want to debate. The people who will accept stuff, no questions asked, are few and far between. So the LC is stuck in this situation of very little increase, and it's a problem that can't be addressed without major changes to the LC.

Of course, the hard facts about the lack of increase in the LC don't very well suit the grandiose view of the LC that they want members to have. So what do they do? They instead divert the focus to something else, something that might be a bit more productive. In the early 90's everyone was told that the Lord 'opened' the doors to Russian and that was where the Lord was moving. I remember a few who went there. Presumably there was some amount of success, but it is interesting is to consider such a focus on Russia was likely only due to the lack of success in the U.S. If we go back to the failure of the new way, none of the promises of how successful door-knocking would be ever played out. But there wasn't time for people to reflect on that. Attention was diverted to Russia.

This is the same thing I see with them contacting Syrian refugees. There is still very little growth in the U.S. Rather than address that problem, LSM is ready to send FTTA trainees overseas to an area that everyone is unfamiliar. It's another one of those LC propaganda things. Supposedly the Lord is moving in some distant place. Only trainess and LSM can provide the official reports of what is happening. The propaganda aspect is enough to convince members that something significant is happening, and more importantly, it keeps them from noticing their own desolate condition.
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Old 02-11-2016, 12:28 PM   #23
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Of course they would need some type of vetting process to weed out anything but good material. But cynicism aside, this does not fit their recruitment paradigm, at least not from a USA perspective. They do not waste their time on the needy, they prefer those with big brains leading to above average financial success. This type of person is very useful and can keep the cash flow coming into the business without bringing along any baggage. How I hope they can prove me wrong! But I would have to see it to believe it. So far their "gospel" has nothing to do with God's desire that all men be saved. How unlike our Savior who loves unconditionally, especially those that are not "good material"
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Old 02-11-2016, 01:29 PM   #24
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Of course they would need some type of vetting process to weed out anything but good material. But cynicism aside, this does not fit their recruitment paradigm, at least not from a USA perspective. They do not waste their time on the needy, they prefer those with big brains leading to above average financial success. This type of person is very useful and can keep the cash flow coming into the business without bringing along any baggage. How I hope they can prove me wrong! But I would have to see it to believe it. So far their "gospel" has nothing to do with God's desire that all men be saved. How unlike our Savior who loves unconditionally, especially those that are not "good material"
I think there is a fairly straightforward answer to this. The LC does want the "good material", but this is a concern is mainly limited to the U.S. or possibly other countries where people are well off. In other countries where there is no such 'potential', LC leaders are concerned primarily with imperialism. Yes, the LC has their own form of imperialism. The view is that the more 'territory' they gain, the better. This was seen when there was the Titus quarantine. I remember hearing some fuss from the blendeds about who some of the churches in Africa 'belonged' to. The same thing was true with South America and DYL, again the concern was territory or what churches belonged to whom. How would the people in these countries feel if they were aware that the western LCers viewed them as churches under their jurisdiction?

In many of these countries where poverty abounds, not even LSM would expect to find donations or collect training fees there. I know that LSM tries to distribute free ministry material in some of these places. So the goal is obviously not financial or even to get people into a FTT environment. I think it simply amounts to LSM being able to mark a territory on a map. It allows them to claim that they recovery is "spreading". And if they are lucky, they can usually find a few wealthy donors in the U.S. to support such endeavors.
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Old 02-11-2016, 02:51 PM   #25
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Yes, that occurred to me, which is the reason for my "USA perspective". They do have a different goal in other places. As far as imperialism, one can examine what happened in India and in the Midwest and come to their own conclusions.
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Old 02-11-2016, 03:36 PM   #26
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The LSM church that I am at recently announced a goal to increase the number of saints to [X] by Year [Y]. The goal was ambitious.
We had a number of "Goal-Setting Movements" in the GLA prompted by TC. The good thing was it forced us to consider our dismal state of affairs, and focus our attention and our meetings on reaching people. The bad thing was that we were so tied into the whims of headquarters, that it was basically a farce. How could an individual LC initiate something new to reach people if headquarters could shut us down on a whim. And they did. Repeatedly.
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Old 02-11-2016, 06:15 PM   #27
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The LSM church that I am at recently announced a goal to increase the number of saints to [X] by Year [Y]. The goal was ambitious.
Localities I have met with in California and in Washington state, just to set a goal to increase by 5, though conservative is ambitious.
The nature of the recovery is in contrast to the western mind. Say a new brother has a burden to serve his community, that would be labeled as being "individualistic", "ambitious", etc. Though not bad words, but in the LC culture it's considered bad character traits to have.
Another may have questions about the logic surrounding their core doctrines of the ground and of deputy authority. May even point out how scripture contradicts it. The LC culture has a reaction to questions. Maybe for a new one, the first or second time there's patience. Eventually any form of questions will be discouraged.
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Old 02-11-2016, 06:29 PM   #28
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Localities I have met with in California and in Washington state, just to set a goal to increase by 5, though conservative is ambitious.
The nature of the recovery is in contrast to the western mind. Say a new brother has a burden to serve his community, that would be labeled as being "individualistic", "ambitious", etc. Though not bad words, but in the LC culture it's considered bad character traits to have.
Another may have questions about the logic surrounding their core doctrines of the ground and of deputy authority. May even point out how scripture contradicts it. The LC culture has a reaction to questions. Maybe for a new one, the first or second time there's patience. Eventually any form of questions will be discouraged.
The church that I'm at never talks about numbers, but does talk about young girls in the sex trade, Mom's of young children, homeless, etc. I know that they do count the number attending every Sunday, but it's not published or used to drum up recruitment efforts.
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Old 02-11-2016, 06:55 PM   #29
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The view is that the more 'territory' they gain, the better. This was seen when there was the Titus quarantine. I remember hearing some fuss from the blendeds about who some of the churches in Africa 'belonged' to. The same thing was true with South America and DYL, again the concern was territory or what churches belonged to whom.
The quarantines in the GLA had as their bottom line the question, "Whose fruit are we? or, Who do we belong to, Cleveland or Anaheim?" That is no joke. I was told repeatedly that TC "raised us up," and thus we must stand with Cleveland because we are TC's fruit. Others made it clear that we all are "WL's fruit," thus we belong to "the" ministry, and we must stand with the Blended brothers.

Some brothers from the GLA had gone to Nigeria to minister. It began as a personal connection with a friend of a family in Cincinnati. One brother, unrelated to the situation but loyal to LSM, asked TC if the Blendeds knew about this new work begun in Africa. Apparently TC said "yes," but there was some confusion surrounding the details. Within no time we had two colonial powers fighting over the rights to a small handful of believers in Africa, on the other side of the world. How disgusting is that? Not only were we divided in the US, but now that little community in Africa was also divided. The websites concernedbrothers.com and afaithfulword.org soon lit up cyber space with opposing versions of "the truth."

So the question boiled down to this, "who owns those African saints?" But isn't this whole battle pretty pathetic? Have not both sides forgotten that we are the Lord's, and His alone? Can any ministry own another man? What kind of debt do I owe to Anaheim and Cleveland since both were at one time helpful to my faith? Does their ministry really come with such an unwritten price tag? If not, then why do both sides attempt to fill their people with such guilt about owing them?
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Old 02-12-2016, 05:40 AM   #30
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The quarantines in the GLA had as their bottom line the question, "Whose fruit are we? or, Who do we belong to, Cleveland or Anaheim?" That is no joke. I was told repeatedly that TC "raised us up," and thus we must stand with Cleveland because we are TC's fruit. Others made it clear that we all are "WL's fruit," thus we belong to "the" ministry, and we must stand with the Blended brothers.

Some brothers from the GLA had gone to Nigeria to minister. It began as a personal connection with a friend of a family in Cincinnati. One brother, unrelated to the situation but loyal to LSM, asked TC if the Blendeds knew about this new work begun in Africa. Apparently TC said "yes," but there was some confusion surrounding the details. Within no time we had two colonial powers fighting over the rights to a small handful of believers in Africa, on the other side of the world. How disgusting is that? Not only were we divided in the US, but now that little community in Africa was also divided. The websites concernedbrothers.com and afaithfulword.org soon lit up cyber space with opposing versions of "the truth."

So the question boiled down to this, "who owns those African saints?" But isn't this whole battle pretty pathetic? Have not both sides forgotten that we are the Lord's, and His alone? Can any ministry own another man? What kind of debt do I owe to Anaheim and Cleveland since both were at one time helpful to my faith? Does their ministry really come with such an unwritten price tag? If not, then why do both sides attempt to fill their people with such guilt about owing them?
This comment is very much in line with my recent points, that just as 19th century Western imperialism brought both gunboats and soldiers to China, as well as the gospel of Jesus Christ, so Witness Lee returned the favor in the 20th: this is Eastern imperialism that we're seeing here.

Yes they do own men. The Church owns the people, and the ministry owns the church. Period. Point-blank. They can pussy-foot around it, but in cases like what Ohio outlined above, the issue raises itself in all its blatant ugliness. Who owns the saints? Titus and the GLA, or the Blendeds and Anaheim? Elsewhere in Africa the Brasilian Dong Yu Lan is prying ownership of the territory and its Christian flock. Eventually these competing imperialist strains explode in a colonial war, with unwitting locals being sucked in just as they were 150 years ago when European powers divided the continent.

How does the Church own the people? Simple: they get people to pledge allegiance to the church. "My church, right or wrong". Now you have given the church leaders permission to be wrong, or unrighteous, or unscriptural, or evil, and you are stuck. Because you made a vow to something that is not God. You have given yourself to a church controlled by a ministry controlled by a man. Too bad for you.

(And I ask all those "Church forever" types, why didn't Watchman Nee stay with the Church Forever? Why did he form his own church group? If it is "My church, right or wrong", why did Watchman Nee say, "Wrong church", and leave? Because, "My church right or wrong" is a ruse to keep people in the wrong church, is why.)

The church is any who gather together in the Name. Watchman Nee doesn't have a copywrite on the name, sorry; nor does Living Stream Ministry. No more than the Angicans did before them. People who try to suck others into their imperialistic religious schemes are creating the monstrous "mystery Babylon". Interesting that the LC teaches that this mysterious evil woman, with the appearance of good and the soul full of hell, is the Roman Catholic Church. Because look what they created - a mini-me RCC. The parallels are too striking to ignore.

As I've written previously, at least the outspoken Catholic priest Desiderius Erasmus survived the RCC, though barely. He wouldn't stand a chance in today's LC. He'd probably deride the "one trumpet" edict for what it is, and get shown the door. Only unthinking yes-men are allowed here, thank you very much.

So let's repeat the question, and get our allegiances clear: to whom do we belong - to Anaheim, or Cleveland? Which imperialistic 'Deputy God' throne do we quake before, which earthly satrap with religious coverings, set up by a fellow sinner? Paul perhaps answered it best: "To them we did not yield in subjection for even one hour, that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you." (Gal 2:5)

I yielded my soul to the church once, thinking it would solve my problems and set me on the fast track to heaven. It didn't. The church isn't the king; only Jesus is the King. The church is where we gather (and yes I still gather) to acknowledge Jesus as God's Lord and Christ. Peter said this: "God has made Him both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36). What church should push this off the table? I say, none. The imperialistic cult of Witness Lee, and his wanna-be demi-god satraps in Anaheim and Cleveland and Estancia Arvore da Vida have done this, and should be called on it.
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Old 02-12-2016, 12:13 PM   #31
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What kind of debt do I owe to Anaheim and Cleveland since both were at one time helpful to my faith?
Nothing is owed. There have been many ministries helpful to my faith. I would say, my time in the local churches as a child and as an adult I was always thankful to the localities I met with at the time.
Mention Anaheim, I'm more likely to be thankful to my time meeting with the Church in Anaheim than anything related to LSM.
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Old 02-12-2016, 01:22 PM   #32
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Yes they do own men. The Church owns the people, and the ministry owns the church. Period. Point-blank. They can pussy-foot around it, but in cases like what Ohio outlined above, the issue raises itself in all its blatant ugliness. Who owns the saints? Titus and the GLA, or the Blendeds and Anaheim?
During the conflict in Anaheim, while John Ingalls and the other elders were attempting to bring the church back to Christ and His word, Titus Chu wrote a letter to John and the other elders. The following was included in this public letter and recorded also in STTIL ...
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Was it not Brother Lee who raised up the church? [in Anaheim] Has it not been our brother who ministered tirelessly and unselfishly from the beginning? Did not our brother appoint you as elders? Has he not considered the church in Anaheim his church base out from which he has gone to carry out the ministry committed to him by the Lord? Is it not a fact that you brothers and the church in Anaheim owe him your existence?
The message from Titus Chu (and co-written by J. Reetzke Sr.) is to forget unrighteousness and criminal activity at LSM, forget what damage they have inflicted upon the saints under your care, forget it all because you owe Lee, and he owns you. Such is the justification and vindication awarded to God's Deputy Authority.
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:21 PM   #33
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This comment is very much in line with my recent points, that just as 19th century Western imperialism brought both gunboats and soldiers to China, as well as the gospel of Jesus Christ, so Witness Lee returned the favor in the 20th: this is Eastern imperialism that we're seeing here.

Yes they do own men. The Church owns the people, and the ministry owns the church. Period. Point-blank. They can pussy-foot around it, but in cases like what Ohio outlined above, the issue raises itself in all its blatant ugliness. Who owns the saints? Titus and the GLA, or the Blendeds and Anaheim? Elsewhere in Africa the Brasilian Dong Yu Lan is prying ownership of the territory and its Christian flock. Eventually these competing imperialist strains explode in a colonial war, with unwitting locals being sucked in just as they were 150 years ago when European powers divided the continent.
I will preface my post with a statement that Lee made:
I hate imperialism, but I thank the Lord that He used imperialism to save me. Without imperialism, the gospel could never have gone to China and to my hometown there.

What I think aron has done a good job of in his posts is to point out WL's aversion to Western imperialism. Maybe WL saw himself as someone who was adversely affected by western influences. If there was any amount of truth to this, then WL's response to western imperialism was that of reacting to a perceived threat, not actually reacting to the fundamental problems of the ideology of imperialism.

When we discuss imperialism here and now, we are fully aware of many of the ills that happened. When Lee said that he hated imperialism, the specific problem that he was referring to was a western problem. In this day and age, we no longer approach imperialism as a threat needing to be deal with. Instead, we discuss it as a political force at play at a certain time in history, which had unfortunate ramifications that were felt all over the world.

Because WL didn't see things from this kind of objective view, what it all boiled down to for him was this: western imperialism/culture = bad, eastern culture = good. Although WL spoke strongly against culture, eastern culture got somewhat of an exemption. In both the ministries of WN and WL numerous references are made to Chinese proverbs and even Confucius, many of these references were used in a positive sense to help make a point. Why was it that all these 'Chinese' elements got a free pass? The fact of the matter is, it was never about eradicating so-called 'culture' from the LC, it was about eradicating the western element. In all fairness, western culture has inflicted its fair share of damage over the course of history. But the fallacy at hand was the assumption that if western culture is bad, that means that eastern culture was a suitable or 'safe' replacement.

With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that WL set out on a course that he spoke against. It wasn't long before he had followers and churches in multiple countries and the territorial mentality set in. Is it not true that the LC has been plagued by this mentality? On numerous occasions, WL accused workers of being 'territorial' or 'regional'. In some cases it was probably true, in other cases it wasn't. Probably many of LC leaders are guilty as charged, but who was the real instigator of all of this? Who was it that headed this campaign?
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Old 02-12-2016, 05:07 PM   #34
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With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that WL set out on a course that he spoke against. It wasn't long before he had followers and churches in multiple countries and the territorial mentality set in. Is it not true that the LC has been plagued by this mentality? On numerous occasions, WL accused workers of being 'territorial' or 'regional'. In some cases it was probably true, in other cases it wasn't. Probably many of LC leaders are guilty as charged, but who was the real instigator of all of this? Who was it that headed this campaign?
I will start off by saying of all the brothers Watchman Nee disciple, why is it Witness Lee found himself on his own? I think in part he wasn't willing to have peers.
All the territorial talk was scripted to make himself unrivaled from any brother. In defense of the territorial accusations, what do you expect? In the 1980's if you were in Anaheim, you would be helped by the ministry of Al Knoch, John Ingalls, etc. If you were in San Diego, it was John Smith. If you were in San Bernardino, it was Francis Ball. These brothers weren't territorial. They were serving the localities where they lived.
Perhaps all the territorial talk was an inferiority complex? The brothers and sisters refer so and so's speaking over mine.
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Old 02-12-2016, 05:16 PM   #35
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I will start off by saying of all the brothers Watchman Nee disciple, why is it Witness Lee found himself on his own? I think in part he wasn't willing to have peers.

All the territorial talk was scripted to make himself unrivaled from any brother. In defense of the territorial accusations, what do you expect?
You are right. WL used to label all his rivals as "ambitious," as if being ambitious was somehow bad. And who was more ambitious than WL?

Lee had a nasty way of pitting the workers against each other. He promoted the rivalries and the internal competitions.
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Old 02-12-2016, 06:15 PM   #36
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WL's response to western imperialism was that of reacting to a perceived threat, not actually reacting to the fundamental problems of the ideology of imperialism.
I think you hit the nail on the head here. It's like someone growing up in a dysfunctional home, and they go out and mirror that dysfunction in the world, always hating what happened and never realizing that they were unconsciously spreading the very thing they run away from. They don't call Satan the subtle one for nothing.

To me, the poison pill of the LC was always this: they believed that everyone else was wrong, and they were right. It was built into all their "truths", that they recovered the light. So they were immune to correction, to reproof, to adjustments, to pointing out their own errors. How can someone in darkness correct someone who is in the light? Impossible.

Once you bite firmly on that hook, it is very hard to wriggle free. Many of us were outside the program physically for years, yet we were still firmly convinced the program was right.
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Old 02-12-2016, 06:36 PM   #37
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On numerous occasions, WL accused workers of being 'territorial' or 'regional'.
Since Witness lee's passing, it has been LSM that has been territorial. They have brothers claiming to represent different regions of the globe.
As we saw what happened 10 years ago, churches that don't submit to their edicts find themselves being sued for their real estate.
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Old 02-12-2016, 10:22 PM   #38
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I think you hit the nail on the head here. It's like someone growing up in a dysfunctional home, and they go out and mirror that dysfunction in the world, always hating what happened and never realizing that they were unconsciously spreading the very thing they run away from. They don't call Satan the subtle one for nothing.

To me, the poison pill of the LC was always this: they believed that everyone else was wrong, and they were right. It was built into all their "truths", that they recovered the light. So they were immune to correction, to reproof, to adjustments, to pointing out their own errors. How can someone in darkness correct someone who is in the light? Impossible.

Once you bite firmly on that hook, it is very hard to wriggle free. Many of us were outside the program physically for years, yet we were still firmly convinced the program was right.
WL was a product of early 20th century China. This is such a simple fact, but hardly any LCers would recognize it as being true. Why? Because WL presumed to have ‘overcome’ his culture. Furthermore, in the LC, elements of various cultures were deemed to be irrelevant. This supposed cultural transcendence was part of the whole ‘recovery’ narrative.

WL made Gal 3:28 a central theme of his ministry. Because the LC has a fair amount of diversity, I think there was the tendency not to question the apparent absence of 'culture', and it was even taken to be something meaningful. It’s no wonder so many bought into it. For Americans especially, I think that it was thought that they in particular needed to drop their culture. I remember hearing that Nee had stated that the U.S was too materialistic, thus his reason for never wanting to minister here.

I’m not here to promote my culture over Lee’s culture. Don’t get me wrong. It is particularly important for LCers to realize that we cannot just ‘drop’ our culture. Our culture is central to who we are. We cannot function socially without understanding how to function as part of our culture. The Bible does not tell us that we need to ‘drop’ our culture. It only tells us that in Christ, individual cultures don’t matter and are not recognized. It speaks nothing of Americans assimilating to the Chinese culture or vice versa. This is what WL got completely wrong. I hesitate to put this so frankly lest it be taken the wrong way, but it’s something important that LCers need to come to terms with. What happened in the LC was the replacement of all cultures with WL's own culture.
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Old 02-13-2016, 05:10 AM   #39
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This point was brought up in other threads. The fact remains that LSM operatives and member peer pressure eventually strip off the ethnic culture of their new converts and replace it with Chinese culture, or some hybrid, this is especially true of their American converts where culture is not so mature and refined. You do not need to be careful. It has been this way from the start and as previously stated could have been any culture. It just so happens that WL is Chinese and many, if not most of their members are Chinese as well. And as far as they are concerned, WL has become something more than a simple servant of Christ - an idol to be more specific.

But the real issue here is LSM's emphasis on their definition of oneness. For all their High Truth and inner-life speaking, in practice they are extremely outward-centric people. Very systematic in their philosophy and adherence to LSM formula. Instead of becoming God in life and nature they become more akin to bobble heads; Absorbing vast amounts of knowledge in the hopes that this will "dispense" God into them. But the result is only exclusiveness and pride. The real fruit of the Holy Spirit is no where to be found - quite the opposite in fact. There is only one way to dispense God into you and that is through the cross. Getting the "ministry" into you is even worse. The results of that are pervasive.

If you cannot deny yourself and take up your cross then there is no dispensing. This does not mean that you blindly follow ministry precepts and deny rational sound thinking. This means that you desire to know Him, the power of His resurrection, the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death. This was Paul's formula and is still true today. The LSM needs to come back to the pure word. They have processed God right out of their lives.
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Old 02-13-2016, 06:46 AM   #40
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Our culture is central to who we are. We cannot function socially without understanding how to function as part of our culture. The Bible does not tell us that we need to ‘drop’ our culture. It only tells us that in Christ, individual cultures don’t matter and are not recognized.
I'd modify the last sentence a bit. I think that the Bible does recognize culture, and likewise we are able to recognize our culture. But as we recognize it, it fades away, because it's not what God is after. It is a process. Ha-ha.

In other words, we see and acknowledge our culture(s), but we're now able to do so with the 'mind of Christ', and it begins to loose its pernicious grip. Little by little. More and more, we are able to see Christ on the one hand, and culture on the other. And we begin to let go. We recognize it and simultaneously begin to recognize that it doesn't matter that much.

Contrast that to WL, who didn't recognize (his) culture, and thus it became the proverbial elephant in the room. Invisible, unnoticed and unremarked, but crushing everything.

Somehow he thought he'd gotten past culture, and convinced us of that, but it therefore had us in a death-grip. Literally. It killed the church life dead.

The way that you can really see what culture did to the LC was those places where it butted up against the Bible. Culture won, every time, hands down. No contest. Elsewhere, we pretended that we had no culture but 'heavenly culture' and no mandate except scripture. But the tentacles of culture actually permeated everything.

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But the real issue here is LSM's emphasis on their definition of oneness. For all their High Truth and inner-life speaking, in practice they are extremely outward-centric people. Very systematic in their philosophy and adherence to LSM formula. Instead of becoming God in life and nature they become more akin to bobble heads; Absorbing vast amounts of knowledge in the hopes that this will "dispense" God into them.
The vast amounts of knowledge that was absorbed was from one limited man. Prolific, yes, but extremely limited, and in more ways than one.

There is a vast amount of knowledge and wisdom in the Body. An essentially unlimited supply of the Spirit. Yet we limited ourselves to the knowledge and wisdom of a single fallible, peculiar minister. By analogy, one can read the same third-grade primer 86 times, but it isn't somehow transformed into a college textbook. It still is what it is.

So our oneness was in limiting ourselves to what was put forth by an ex-Southern Baptist, ex-Bretheren Charismatic Bible teacher from Yantai, Shandong China. When Jesus talked about the "narrow way", I don't think that's what He had in mind.
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Old 02-13-2016, 01:20 PM   #41
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"If you cannot deny yourself and take up your cross then there is no dispensing. This does not mean that you blindly follow ministry precepts and deny rational sound thinking. This means that you desire to know Him, the power of His resurrection, the fellowship of His sufferings, being confirmed to His death. This was Paul's formula and is still true today. The LSM needs to come back to the pure word. They have processed God right out of their lives."

Amen NML! Preach it brother! They've processed themselves into a little corner of the kingdom where love isn't natural and being spiritual isn't loving.
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Old 02-14-2016, 01:09 PM   #42
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Contrast that to WL, who didn't recognize (his) culture, and thus it became the proverbial elephant in the room. Invisible, unnoticed and unremarked, but crushing everything.

Somehow he thought he'd gotten past culture, and convinced us of that, but it therefore had us in a death-grip. Literally. It killed the church life dead.

The way that you can really see what culture did to the LC was those places where it butted up against the Bible. Culture won, every time, hands down. No contest. Elsewhere, we pretended that we had no culture but 'heavenly culture' and no mandate except scripture. But the tentacles of culture actually permeated everything.
WL got a free pass, because no one ever questioned his intentions. When WL said that culture needed to be dropped, this is exactly what everyone did. There was probably a basic assumption that he had already do so if he was encouraging others to do it.
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Old 02-16-2016, 08:09 AM   #43
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WL got a free pass, because no one ever questioned his intentions. When WL said that culture needed to be dropped, this is exactly what everyone did. There was probably a basic assumption that he had already do so if he was encouraging others to do it.
I always understood WL's exhortation to drop culture as being based on Colosians 3:10-11, where in the new man Christ is all and in all, and there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man. So, in this context Christ is our culture, not WL's culture is our culture.
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Old 02-16-2016, 10:13 AM   #44
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I always understood WL's exhortation to drop culture as being based on Colosians 3:10-11, where in the new man Christ is all and in all, and there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man. So, in this context Christ is our culture, not WL's culture is our culture.
I find WL's theme of Christ vs culture to be a legitimate teaching. It even addresses a problem that might be more prevalent than some Christians would like to think. So where did WL go wrong? I think that his main problem was that he was too quick to point fingers. What I mean by this is that in relation to his teachings on Col 3, what immediately comes to mind are the criticisms of "Chinese churches", "Korean churches", or any Christians identifying themselves by nationality. Again, such a criticism is not without merit, but what is missing from the equation here? The issue as I see it is that WL never took the opportunity to evaluate how culture played a role in the LC.

I'm sure that there were admonishments made for members to not promote or insist on their culture, but what I'm talking about here is more on the institutional level. As an institution, the LC has presumed to have transcended culture, so therefore it is believed that the only cultural issue that could exist is if a individual member or group of members starts promoting their culture.

If members want to take WL's words for things, then it might do them well to ask LC leaders why one of the "Seven Feasts" identifies a certain nationality (International Chinese Speaking Conference), and even corresponds to the Chinese new year. All along, Americans were told that their holidays were so terrible and even some of them are 'pagan'. Why did some cultural things get a free pass, but not others?
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Old 02-16-2016, 11:05 AM   #45
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If members want to take WL's words for things, then it might do them well to ask LC leaders why one of the "Seven Feasts" identifies a certain nationality (International Chinese Speaking Conference), and even corresponds to the Chinese new year. All along, Americans were told that their holidays were so terrible and even some of them are 'pagan'. Why did some cultural things get a free pass, but not others?
Exactly!

Why did Lee use the pagan holiday of Chinese New Year to preach the gospel, but the LC's were basically forbidden from applying the same principle to Christmas and Easter, and using those holidays to also preach the gospel.

That's why Lee's teachings are so suspect. Only he gets to apply them when suitable for his plans. That is, by definition, hypocrisy: Do what I say, but not what I do!

I have seen this apply to so many areas of LSM. They frequently violated the principles laid down for others to follow, but it was OK because it was Lee, who alone can "see things we could not."
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Old 02-16-2016, 11:42 AM   #46
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I have seen this apply to so many areas of LSM. They frequently violated the principles laid down for others to follow, but it was OK because it was Lee, who alone can "see things we could not."
Or as one former Bellevue elder indicated, Witness Lee would not make mistakes others would make.
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Old 02-16-2016, 04:31 PM   #47
OBW
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Default Re: A little rant

Someone suggested that Lee was right to oppose culture.

I find that to be very odd. Culture is simply the way of the people. Surely there are things in culture to oppose, or to refrain from as a Christian.

But as Christians we have culture. Just a different culture.

The point is not culture. It is why you do what you do. There is much about culture that is essentially benign. Just as money is benign, but love of money is a problem.

I even think that too much concern about how you become sanctified (you can't do it yourself but have to let Christ do it in you, for example) is just as problematic as culture. We have a culture of not doing anything to be righteous, but expecting that Christ will do it in us. And when it doesn't work out that way, excuse ourselves as not "being there yet" or something like that. But Peter said we had all we needed for it. Unless we are going to dismiss him, then I think that maybe the problem is not that we don't already have all we need to do it, it is that we don't even try to do it.

And even though we have everything we need, do you expect that you will simply be sinlessly perfect? Of course not. There is a reason that it still takes working with fear and trembling.

The reason is that it is not as simple as "Christ is going to do it." Yes, he is ultimately the one who does it. But he doesn't force anyone. We still have to act. And try.

That's my latest rant.

And I realize that even I don't really try enough. I could act upon the grace that I have been given yet often do not.
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Old 02-16-2016, 06:46 PM   #48
aron
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Default Re: A little rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
Why did some cultural things get a free pass, but not others?
WL learned the same thing Constantine did centuries earlier, that people will come into your movement more readily, and will accept it, if you accept their culture.

What is disengenuous and hyporcritical about LC culture is that they insisted that they had none, except for the heavenly culture, and made constant business about pointing fingers at the "fallen human culture" infesting everyone and everything else.
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